The History of Carrots

My sister-in-law’s sister-in-law sent me this link back before Christmas and somehow it got lost in my email until this week, but the information contained within is fascinating: how carrots were transformed through selective breeding from being a small, bitter, black, or yellow root prized mostly for its leaves and flowers to being the large, sweet, orange root from which the leaves and flowers are almost always discarded. And, surprisingly, the orange color that we all associate with a carrot is a fairly recent development: a political machination by the Dutch in the 16th Century, to support the current king, William of the House of Orange.

The history is broken into three parts: pre-200 AD; 200-1800 AD; and 1800 to present. It makes for fascinating, extensive reading—but there’s no reason to try to hammer through the entire history of the carrot in one sitting. I recommend breaking it up into 3-6 chunks and making an effort to flip back to it whenever you have a few minutes to kill.

And, for info on the easiest way to dice carrots, visit

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